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Optimising cardiovascular care of patients with multiple myeloma


Multiple myeloma (MM) is the third most common haematological malignancy, with increasing prevalence over recent years. Advances in therapy have improved survival, changing the clinical course of MM into a chronic condition and meaning that management of comorbidities is fundamental to improve clinical outcomes. Cardiovascular (CV) events affect up to 7.5% of individuals with MM, due to a combination of patient, disease and treatment-related factors and adversely impact survival. MM typically affects older people, many with pre-existing CV risk factors or established CV disease, and the disease itself can cause renal impairment, anaemia and hyperviscosity, which exacerabate these further. Up to 15% of patients with MM develop systemic amyloidosis, with prognosis determined by the extent of cardiac involvement. Management of MM generally involves administration of multiple treatment lines over several years as disease progresses, with many drug classes associated with adverse CV effects including high rates of venous and arterial thrombosis alongside heart failure. Recommendations for holistic management of patients with MM now include routine baseline risk stratification including ECG and echocardiography and administration of thromboprophylaxis drugs for patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs. Close surveillance of high-risk patients with collaboration between haematology and cardiology is required, with prompt investigation in the event of CV symptoms, in order to identify and treat complications early. Decisions regarding discontinuation of cardiotoxic therapies should be made in a multidisciplinary setting, taking into account the severity of the complication, prognosis, expected benefits and the availability of effective alternatives.

  • education
  • medical
  • heart failure
  • risk factors

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